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University of California, Irvine

The University of California, Irvine (UCI or UC Irvine),[8] is a public research university located in Irvine, California. It is one of the 10 campuses in the University of California (UC) system. UC Irvine offers 80 undergraduate degrees and 98 graduate and professional degrees. The university is classified as a Research I university and in fiscal year 2013 had $348 million in research and development expenditures according to the National Science Foundation.[9] UC Irvine became a member of the Association of American Universities in 1996 and is the youngest university to hold membership.[10] It is considered to be one of the "Public Ivies", meaning that it is among those publicly funded universities thought to provide a quality of education comparable to that of the Ivy League.[11][12]

University of California, Irvine
University of California, Irvine seal.svg
MottoFiat lux (Latin)
Motto in English
Let there be light
Parent institution
University of California
Academic affiliations
Association of American Universities
Association of Pacific Rim Universities
Endowment$951 million (2018)[1]
ChancellorHoward Gillman[2]
ProvostEnrique Lavernia[3]
Academic staff
5,251 (2017)[4]
Administrative staff
5,842 (2017)[4]
Students35,220 (2018)[5]
Undergraduates29,566 (2018)[5]
Postgraduates4,467 (2018)[5]

33°38′44″N 117°50′33″W / 33.64556°N 117.84250°W / 33.64556; -117.84250Coordinates: 33°38′44″N 117°50′33″W / 33.64556°N 117.84250°W / 33.64556; -117.84250
1,527 acres (618 ha)[6]
ColorsUCI Blue and UCI Gold[7]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IBig West
MascotPeter the Anteater
University of California, Irvine logo.svg

The university also administers the UC Irvine Medical Center, a large teaching hospital in Orange, and its affiliated health sciences system; the University of California, Irvine, Arboretum; and a portion of the University of California Natural Reserve System. UC Irvine set up the first Earth System Science Department in the United States.[13][14]

UCI was one of three new UC campuses established in the 1960s to accommodate growing enrollments across the UC system. A site in Orange County was identified in 1959, and in the following year the Irvine Company sold the University of California 1,000 acres (400 ha) of land for one dollar to establish the new campus. President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated the campus in 1964.[15]

The UC Irvine Anteaters compete in 18 men's and women's sports in the NCAA Division I as members of the Big West Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Anteaters have won 28 national championships in nine different team sports, 64 Anteaters have won individual national championships, and 53 Anteaters have competed in the Olympics.



Early yearsEdit

The University of California, Irvine (with San Diego and Santa Cruz) was one of three new University of California campuses established in the 1960s under the California Master Plan for Higher Education.[16] During the 1950s, the University of California saw the need for the new campuses to handle both the large number of college-bound World War II veterans (largely due to the G. I. Bill) and the expected increase in enrollment from the post-war baby boom. One of the new campuses was to be in the Los Angeles area; the location selected was Irvine Ranch, an area of agricultural land bisecting Orange County from north to south. This site was chosen to accommodate the county's growing population, complement the growth of nearby UCLA and UC Riverside, and allow for the construction of a master planned community in the surrounding area.[17]

One of two identical UCI signs that face the main campus' western entrance

Role in developing IrvineEdit

Unlike most other University of California campuses, UCI was not named for the city it was built in; at the time of the university's founding (1965), the current city of Irvine (incorporated in 1971) did not exist. The name "Irvine" is a reference to James Irvine, a landowner who administered the 94,000-acre (38,000 ha) Irvine Ranch. In 1960, The Irvine Company sold 1,000 acres (400 ha) of the Irvine Ranch to the University of California for one dollar, since company policy prohibited the donation of property to a public entity.[17] On campus, UC Irvine's first Chancellor, Daniel G. Aldrich selected a wide variety of Mediterranean-climate flora and fauna, feeling that it served an "aesthetic, environmental, and educational [purpose]."[18] To plan the remainder of the ranch, the University hired William Pereira and Associates. Pereira intended for the UC Irvine campus to complement the neighboring community, and it became clear that the original 1,000 acres (400 ha) grant would not suffice for Pereira's vision. In 1964, the University purchased an additional 510 acres (210 ha) in 1964 for housing and commercial developments.[17]

President Lyndon B. Johnson at the university's groundbreaking ceremony in June 1964

On June 20, 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated UC Irvine before a crowd of 15,000 people, and on October 4, 1965 the campus began operations with 1,589 students, 241 staff members, 119 faculty, and 43 teaching assistants.[19][20] However, many of UCI's buildings were still under construction and landscaping was still in progress, with the campus only at 75% completion.[21] By June 25, 1966, UCI held its first Commencement with fourteen students, which conferred ten Bachelor of Arts degrees, three Master of Arts degrees, and one Doctor of Philosophy degree.[22]

Much of the land that was not purchased by UCI (which is now occupied by the cities of Irvine, Tustin, Newport Beach, and Newport Coast) remains held by The Irvine Company, but the completion of the University rapidly drove the development of Orange County. The City of Irvine became incorporated and established in 1971 and 1975, respectively.[17] UCI remains the second largest employer in Orange County, with an annual economic impact of $5 billion.[23][24] It offers 87 undergraduate degree programs, 59 master's and 46 Ph.D. programs.[25]

Founding the schoolsEdit

Aldrich developed the campus' first academic plan around a College of Arts, Letters, and Science, a Graduate School of Administration, and a School of Engineering. The College of Arts, Letters, and Science was composed of twenty majors in five "Divisions": Biological Sciences, Fine Arts, Humanities, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences (which transformed into the present-day "Schools").[26] In 1965 the California College of Medicine (originally a school of osteopathy founded in 1896 and the oldest continuously operating medical college in the Southwest) became part of UC Irvine.[27][28] In 1976, plans to establish an on-campus hospital were set aside, with the university instead purchasing the Orange County Medical Center (renamed the UC Irvine Medical Center) around 12 miles from UC Irvine, in the City of Orange.[28]


During the 1990s and 2000s, UCI's hospital was the center of multiple scandals. In 1995, three doctors at the UCI Center for Reproductive Health were accused of taking eggs from a woman without her consent and transferring them to another woman, who delivered a baby. Investigators later found that these doctors had stolen eggs from 100 women. Although the misuse of eggs was not illegal at the time, the doctors involved were indicted for mail fraud and tax evasion, and two fled the country.[29] In 2005, UCI Medical Center shut down its liver transplant program after a Medicare investigation revealed patient mismanagement, lack of staffing and poor survival rates. The Orange hospital—the only one in Orange County to offer liver transplants—had the worst performance in the state.[30] And, in 2008, another medicare investigation revealed that "anesthesiologists falsified surgical records, filling them out before patients were ever put under on the operating table."[31] Although the hospital claimed that pre-filling the forms was mainly to save time, and did not result in any patient harm, inspectors argued that the practice “substantially limit[ed] the hospital’s capacity to render adequate care to patients."[31]

In hiring the first dean of the UC Irvine School of Law in 2009, the University approached Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, a scholar in constitutional law and liberal pundit. After contracting with Chemerinsky on September 4, 2007, the hire was rescinded by UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake because he felt the professor's commentaries were "polarizing" and would not serve the interests of California's first new public law school in 40 years; Drake claimed the decision was his own and not the subject of outside influence.[32] The action was roundly criticized by liberal and conservative scholars who felt it hindered the academic mission of the law school, and disbelief over Chancellor Drake's claims that it was not subject to outside influence.[32][33]

The issue was the subject of a New York Times editorial on September 14, 2007.[34] UCI had received criticism on the hire from California Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who criticized Chemerinsky's grasp of death penalty appeals, as well as a group of prominent Orange County Republicans and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who wanted to derail the appointment.[35]

Drake traveled to Durham, North Carolina, and reached an agreement with Chereminsky.[35] On September 17, Chemerinsky issued a joint press release with Drake indicating that Chemerinsky would head the UCI law school, stating "Our new law school will be founded on the bedrock principle of academic freedom. The chancellor reiterated his lifelong, unqualified commitment to academic freedom, which extends to every faculty member, including deans and other senior administrators."[36]

From 2002 to 2007, Capella University, a for-profit, online institution, paid $500 per student to UCI Extension for each of 36 students who transferred to Capella. This undisclosed financial arrangement resulted in a total payment of $12,000 to UCI.[37] The payments, first reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education, were inadvertently revealed when Jeffry La Marca, a former student of UCI Extension and Capella, filed a public records request for correspondence between UCI and Capella.

UCI continuing education dean Gary Matkin announced the school would end the arrangement by October 31, 2007 and planned to place $12,000 into a scholarship fund for needy students. UCI officials represented that the agreement was legal per Department of Education regulations; however, UCI tried to hide the payments and the arrangement was frequently criticized as unethical, because it raised the possibility that school counselors might make recommendations to students based on financial incentives rather than the student's best interests.[37]

On November 30, 2007, the Office of Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education issued a report finding "insufficient evidence" in support of allegations that Jewish students at UCI were harassed and subjected to a hostile environment based on their religious beliefs. The federal agency investigated a total of 13 alleged incidents of harassment that occurred between the fall of 2000 and December 2006, and determined that 5 were "isolated acts" that could not be addressed because they were reported more than 180 days after they occurred. Further, the agency considered these acts, which included a rock thrown at a Jewish student, the destruction of a Holocaust memorial display, and various threatening or harassing statements made to individual Jewish students, substantially different in nature as to be unrelated to the 8 other recurring acts it investigated, which included graffiti depicting swastikas on campus, events during an annual Zionist Awareness Week (in which several Jewish students had, however, partook), exclusion of Jewish students during an anti-hate rally, and the wearing of graduation stoles signifying support for Hamas[citation needed] or Palestinian human rights. The agency ultimately found that none of the incidents leading to the allegations qualified as "sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent as to interfere with or limit the ability of an individual to participate in from the services, activities or privileges" provided by UCI, and that university officials had acted appropriately in response to each incident. In December 2007, UCI Administration was cleared of anti-semitism complaints by the US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.[38][39]

Following a speech by Drake at the national Hillel meeting in Washington, D.C. in March 2008, Anteaters for Israel, along with three other Jewish organizations, issued a press release defending Drake and claiming that anti-Semitic activity was "exaggerated".[40] Later 20 current and former students issued a statement expressing concern over ongoing issues and Drake's handling of the issue.

In May 2009, UC Irvine hosted a two-week event titled "Israel: The Politics of Genocide", hosted by the school's Muslim Student Union. Scheduled speakers included Cynthia McKinney and George Galloway. Opponents of the event described it as "anti-Semitic" (despite its considerable support from Jewish students and stated criticism solely of Israeli policy) and called for Chancellor Drake to condemn both the event and the sponsoring organization. He declined to do so.[41] One outdoor demonstration at this event included a display with an image of Jewish Holocaust victim Anne Frank wearing a keffiyah, in an apparent attempt to draw an analogy between her sufferings and the plight of the Palestinian territories. The pro-Israel campus advocacy group StandWithUs described this image as offensive.[42]

In October 2009, students from UCI met with Hamas official Aziz Duwaik on a university-sponsored trip to the West Bank under a program called the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), a neutral, apolitical education group that studies the Arab-Israeli conflict. The meeting was questioned in 2011, and the initial response from UCI was that the meeting was justified, as the education group was studying the different narratives that contribute to the situation in the Middle East.[43] After the Zionist Organization of America informed UCI about Hamas' nature and urged UCI to dissociate itself from the OTI, UCI referred to the meeting as a "misstep".[44] Many of these accusations were contradicted organizations and members of the group who are pro-Israel and of Jewish descent.[45]

In May, 2010, forty members of the faculty issued an open letter expressing concern about "hate-promoting actions" including "a statement (by a speaker repeatedly invited by the Muslim Student Union) that the Zionist Jew is a party of Satan, a statement by another MSU speaker that the Holocaust was God's will" that have given UCI "a growing reputation as a center of hate and intolerance".[46] Neither of the speakers were named nor were any students shown to have had affiliation with such remarks.

UC Irvine attracted controversy in February 2010 when students disrupted a lecture by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.[47] While the MSU had issued a statement condemning the university for inviting a man who "took part in a culture that has no qualms with terrorizing the innocent, killing civilians, demolishing their homes and illegally occupying their land", they denied responsibility for the protests and said the students acted on their own.[48] According to Kenneth Stern, director of the American Jewish Committee's Division on Antisemitism and Extremism "The UCI campus has had a long history of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incidents, usually tied to its Muslim Student Union."[49]

Hecklers interrupted Oren's speech ten times, with many students cheering them in support. Among other slogans, the hecklers yelled, "Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech,"[48] "killers" and "how many Palestinians did you kill?"[50] After the fourth disruption, Oren stopped speaking for 20 minutes before returning to the podium. Before continuing he said, "I've spent most of my life living in and studying the Middle East and one of the great and eternal cultural facets of the Middle East is hospitality ... even if you do not agree with them, even if they're ostensibly your enemy. I'm your guest here and I'm asking for the Middle Eastern hospitality for your guest, I've come into your house." By the end of the program, 11 UC Irvine and Riverside students were reportedly arrested.[48]

According to the New University, 11 students were charged with section 403 of the UCIPD penal code – disrupting a public event on the University's property, for their actions. Nine were enrolled at UCI and three were from UCR.[51] During the event, Chancellor Drake and political science department chair Mark Petracca "chided the protesting crowd and called the disruptions embarrassing". At one point, Chairman Petracca yelled "Shame on you" to the heckling crowd.[48] In a statement issued the next day, Drake called the students' behavior "intolerable", saying that "Freedom of speech is among the most fundamental, and among the most cherished of the bedrock values our nation is built upon."[52] Dean Chemerinsky also condemned the disruptions. He stated, "Imagine if they had brought their own speaker and that person had been shouted down. There would be no free speech. There is no right to a 'heckler's veto.'"[53][54] In response, the university suspended the group for the 2010–2011 school year and assigned it a probationary period for the following year. In addition, the members were responsible for completing a collective 50 community service hours before the group's reinstatement. The Muslim Student Union appealed the suspension.[47] The punishment was later modified to one academic quarter, one hundred hours of community service and two years probation.[55] The Zionist Organization of America, describing UCI as "a campus that permitted bigotry", has called for college-bound students and financial donors to avoid UCI.[56]

In the wake of his son's suicide, former UC Irvine professor Rainer Reinscheid was arrested for attempting to burn down buildings at the nearby University High School. Reinscheid, who blamed the high school's administrators for his son's death, wrote in graphic emails about wanting to kill students and administrators, sexually assault multiple female staff members, and then kill himself. It was ultimately discovered that he had planned to gun down hundreds of high school students and burn down the high school itself. Reinscheid committed six arsons and attempted three additional arsons at the high school and nearby Mason Park by setting fire to newspapers, brush, and various other items. Nobody was injured or killed in the arsons, and Reinscheid was arrested before he was able to attempt any further attacks.[57][58]

In March 2015, the legislative branch of the undergraduate student government, the ASUCI, voted in favor of a resolution that would have banned all flags from a shared inner workroom in their offices, the text of which partially stated that "The American flag has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism" and "freedom of speech, in a space that aims to be as inclusive as possible, can be interpreted as hate speech".[59][60] After the student government's president expressed his opposition to the resolution in a social media post, the resolution became controversial, with criticism and support from students and non-students. The student representatives who voted for the ban experienced harassment and received death threats. The administration called the ban "misguided", stating "The views of a handful of students passing a resolution do not represent the opinions of the nearly 30,000 students on this campus, and have no influence on the policies and practices of the university", and the executive branch of the student council vetoed the ban.[61]

Professors and students from across the state signed a letter of support for the students, written in response to increasing hostility, death threats and racial slurs.[62][63]

UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman initially called the vote "outrageous and indefensible",[64] and stated that the campus would install additional flagpoles. After criticism from students, faculty and others, however, Gillman published a conciliatory op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, urging a stop to the harassment of students and stating that criticism of the United States flag "is a feature of university life and a measure of a free society."[65]

On July 28, 2017, UC Irvine rescinded the admission offers of over 500 incoming undergraduates.[66] While the university claimed they rescinded so many offers of admission due to second-semester high school grades and late transcripts, some people speculate the real reason is that too many students intended to matriculate.[67] Approximately 7,100 of 31,000 freshmen offered admission to UC Irvine in 2017 accepted it, 850 more than the planned freshman class of 6,250.[68]

In 2018, UC Irvine had reprimanded and removed several campus officials and professors accused of sexual harassment and discrimination. In early July 2018, UC Irvine removed benefactor Francisco J. Ayala's name from its biology school and central science library after an internal investigation substantiated a number of sexual harassment claims, although he was the signature donor of both institutions. Chancellor Gillman authorized the removal of the Ayala name from graduate fellowships, scholar programs, and endowed chairs. The investigation by the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD) began in November 2017 and ended in May 2018. Ayala resigned July 1, 2018 and was ordered to abstain from future university activities, following the university’s standard consultative procedures that include a faculty review committee. The biology school reverted its name to the UCI School of Biological Sciences. The results from the investigation were compiled in a 97-page report, which included testimony from victims of Ayala.[69][70][71][72][73] In late August 2018, Professor Ron Carlson, who had led the creative writing program at UC Irvine, had resigned after substantiated reports of sexual misconduct with an underage student became unearthed. The accusations in question occurred in the 1970s when he was a teacher at the prestigious Connecticut institution known as the Hotchkiss School. UC Irvine upon learning about the report accepted Professor Carlson’s immediate resignation.[74][75]In early September 2018, Thomas A. Parham, former vice chancellor at UC Irvine and former president of the Association of Black Psychologists was found to have violated the university’s nondiscrimination policies four times by allegedly refusing to pay a female vice assistant chancellor, a female university registrar, and two female directors of campus centers as much as males. The review by the campus Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD), which was dated June 21, confirmed the unequal treatment on September 7, 2018.[76]

In the past, UC Irvine had problems addressing sexual harassment and purposely deflected accusers for years as in the Ayala investigation showing 15 years of documented sexual harassment. Some cases that came to light during August 2018 date back to the early 90s. In June 1994, Christina Grudzinski sued the university because her sexual harassment case filed with the university went nowhere as the university faculty considered her to be a “woman” that was “overly emotional” and was a risk for patients; as such, she was “barred from clinical duties in retaliation for complaining of sexual harassment.” She lost the court proceedings to the university in 2002.[77] In 2007, the now deceased Professor Jacques Derrida had used similar tactics as Ayala to cover up sexual harassment of Professor Dragan Kujundzic by stating their wealth and donations to UC Irvine’s Chancellor Ralph Cicerone, “for years, as you probably know, I have made a gift of all my archives (I emphasize gift because I know that such papers are generally sold and sometimes at a very high price)”. Professor Jacques Derrida removed UC Irvine from his will after Dragan Kujundzic was accused of sexual harassment with a woman graduate student in his department. It is known that Ralph Cicerone the former head of the National Academy of Sciences and former Chancellor of UC Irvine protected predators of sexual harassment in UC, currently known individuals include Inder Verma and Dragan Kujundzic.[78][79] Ralph Cicerone not only protected UC serial harassers but quieted victims in the Department of Earth System Science in the early 90s like Christina Grudzinski citing the department's new reputation using his power as chancellor, dean, and chair of the department. In 2008, Professor Alexander McPherson tried using similar tactics as Ayala trying to avoid sexual harassment seminars in stating his 20 million in research funds.[80] In 2014, Joseph Lewis, an art professor and former dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts had 26 allegations of sexual harassment made against him and the university agreed to take a demotion and stayed on as a professor while maintaining a salary of 100K+.[81] Additionally in 2014, Nikishna Polequaptewa a UC Irvine employee was also found to have violated the UC Policy on Sexual Harassment by subjecting the complainant to “unwelcome sexual advances” and creating a “hostile work environment" and was later terminated.[82]

In 2018, UC Irvine mandated a new sexual harassment protocol in order to rectify future harassment and sexual discrimination occurrences.[citation needed]


UCI's core campus and surrounding areas. Aldrich Park is in the center.

The layout of the core campus resembles a rough circle with its center being Aldrich Park (initially known as Central Park), lined up by the Ring Mall and buildings surrounding the road. To further emphasize the layout, academic units are positioned relative to the center, wherein undergraduate schools are closer to the center than the graduate schools.[83]

Aldrich Park is planted with over 11,120 trees (there are over 24,000 trees on the entire campus), including 33 species of eucalyptus. Two ceremonial trees were planted in 1990, one for Arbor Day and the second for former chancellor Daniel Aldrich who had died that year. On the first anniversary of the September 11th tragedies, the chancellor planted a bay laurel tree in remembrance of the heroes and victims of the events of September 11, 2001. The tree itself was a gift from the UCI Staff Assembly. Aldrich Park is the site for "Wayzgoose", a medieval student festival held each year in conjunction with the "Celebrate UCI" open house. It also hosts many extracurricular activities.

Ring Mall is the main pedestrian road used by students and faculty to travel around the core campus. The road measures up to a perfect mile and completely encircles Aldrich Park.[84] Most schools and libraries are lined up by this road with each of these schools having their own central plaza which also connects to the Aldrich Park.

Other areas of the university outside of the core campus such as the School of Arts are connected by four pedestrian bridges. Beyond the core campus and the bridges, the layout of the campus is more suburban.

Panoramic view of Aldrich Park.


Irvine, California consistently ranks as the safest city in America.[85] UCI is close to the beaches, mountains, and attractions of Southern California. Disneyland is approximately 20 minutes away by car. While the university is located in Irvine, the campus is directly bounded by the city of Newport Beach and the community of Newport Coast. The western side of the campus borders the San Diego Creek and the San Joaquin Freshwater Marsh Reserve, through which Campus Drive connects UCI to the 405 freeway. The northern and eastern sides of UCI are adjacent to Irvine proper; the eastern side of the campus is delineated by Bonita Canyon Road, which turns into Culver Drive at its northern terminus. California State Route 73 marks UCI's southern boundary and separates the campus from Newport Beach.

The "North Campus" houses the Facilities Management Department, the Faculty Research Facility, Central Receiving, Fleet Services, the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory, and numerous other functions. It is located next to the UCI Arboretum; both the North Campus and the arboretum are located about 1 mile (2 km) from the main campus.

William Pereira's original street layout for the region surrounding the University had a wingnut-shaped loop road as the main thoroughfare, which twice crossed the campus. However, the Irvine Company's development plans expanded before it could be completed, and portions of California, Carlson, Harvard and Turtle Rock roads today constitute segments of what would have been the Loop Road.

Despite the suburban environment, a variety of wildlife inhabits the university's central park, open fields, and wetlands. The university is home to cougar, hawks, golden eagles, great blue herons, squirrels, opossums, peregrine falcons, rabbits, raccoons, owls, skunks, weasels, bats, and coyotes. The UCI Arboretum hosts a collection of plants from California and Mediterranean climates around the world. The rabbits in particular are very numerous and can be seen across campus in high numbers, especially during hours of low student traffic.


Murray Krieger Hall in the School of Humanities, named after an inspirational professor and an example of the Brutalist architecture of the campus

The first buildings were designed by a team of architects led by William Pereira and including A. Quincy Jones and William Blurock. The initial landscaping, including Aldrich Park, was designed by an association of three firms, including that of the noted urban-landscaping innovator Robert Herrick Carter. Aldrich Park was designed under the direction of landscape architect Gene Uematsu, and was modeled after Frederick Law Olmsted's designs for New York City's Central Park. The campus opened in 1965 with the inner circle and park only half-completed. There were only nine buildings and a dirt road connecting the main campus to the housing units. Only three of the six "spokes" that radiate from the central park were built, with only two buildings each. Pereira was retained by the university to maintain a continuity of style among the buildings constructed in the inner ring around the park, the last of which was completed in 1972. These buildings were designed in a style which combined sweeping curves and expressionistic shapes with elements of classic California architecture such as red tiled roofs and clay-tiled walkways, and distinctive white railings evoking the deck of an ocean liner.[86] These buildings featured an innovative structural design that freed the interiors from support columns in order to allow future alterations of their floor plans.

Henry Samueli School of Engineering complex in 2006. Buildings in the lower right quadrant of the image have since been demolished.

Construction on the campus all but ceased after the Administration building, Aldrich Hall, was completed in 1974, and then resumed in the late 1980s, beginning a massive building boom that still continues today. This second building boom continued the futuristic trend, but emphasized a much more colorful, postmodern approach that somewhat contradicted the earthy, organic designs of the early buildings. Architects such as Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Eric Owen Moss, James Stirling and Arthur Erickson were brought in to bring the campus more up to date. The recession in the early 1990s along with internal politics led to a change in direction, due to the reduced capital budget, and changing attitudes towards architectural innovation at the university. This, in turn, led to a "contextualist" approach beginning in the late 1990s combining stylistic elements of the first two phases in an attempt to provide an architectural "middle ground" between the two vastly different styles. Gehry's building was recently removed from campus to make way for a new building, with a design that has been called a "big beige box with bands of bricks". In 2009 the Humanities Gateway building, designed by Curtis W. Fentress, was opened. Its curvilinear design marked a return to the sculptural treatment of concrete begun by Pereira.

As of 2005, the campus has more than 200 buildings and encompasses most of the university's 1,525 acres (6.17 km2).[21] The campus is in the midst of a $1.1 billion construction campaign.[87]

Libraries and study centersEdit

One of four central libraries maintained by UC Irvine, Langson Library is the main repository for most of UC Irvine's research materials and hosts many study areas.
Science Library. One of the largest consolidated science and medical libraries in the nation.
Jack Langson Library Resources for the Arts, Humanities, Education, Social Sciences, Social Ecology, and Business & Management disciplines[88]
Science Library One of the largest consolidated science and medical libraries in the nation. Resources for the schools of Biological Sciences, Engineering, Information and Computer Science, Physical Sciences, portions of Social Ecology, and the College of Medicine[89]
Grunigen Medical Library Located at UCI Medical Center, contains 43,000 volumes of material[90]
Libraries Gateway Study Center Located across from the Langson Library.
Law Library Located on the bottom two floors of the Law Building

In addition to holding a noted Critical Theory archive and Southeast Asian archive, the Libraries also contain extensive collections in Dance and Performing Arts, Regional History, and more. Additionally, Langson Library hosts an extensive East Asian collection with materials in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Nearly all departments and schools on campus complement the resources of the UC Irvine Libraries by maintaining their own reading rooms and scholarly meeting rooms. They contain small reference collections and are the choice for more intimate lectures, graduate seminars, and study sessions. There is also the large Gateway Study Center located across from Langson Library, one of the university's original buildings and under the custody of UC Irvine Libraries. Having served formerly as a cafeteria and student center, it is now a dual-use computer lab and study area which is open nearly 24 hours.

The UCI Student Center offers a large number of study areas, auditoriums, and two food courts, and therefore is one of the most popular places to study on campus. UC Irvine also has a number of computer labs that serve as study centers. The School of Humanities maintains the Humanities Instructional Resource Center, a drop-in computer lab specializing in language and digital media. Additionally, UCI maintains five other drop-in labs, four instructional computer labs, and a number of reservation-only SmartClassrooms, some of which are open 24 hours. Other popular study areas include Aldrich Park, the Cross-Cultural Center, the Locus (a study room and computer lab used by the Campuswide Honors Program), and plazas located in every school.


A network of tunnels runs between many of the major buildings on campus and the Central Plant, with the major trunk passage located beneath Ring Mall. Smaller tunnels branch off from this main passage to reach individual buildings, carrying electrical and air-conditioning utilities from the Central Plant. These tunnels have been the subject of much campus lore, the most popular story being that the tunnels were constructed to facilitate the safe evacuation of faculty in the event of a student riot. The main tunnel actually emerges above ground in the form of an unusually thick bridge near the Engineering Tower, in an area where Ring Mall crosses between two hills.


Like other University of California campuses, UC Irvine is governed by a Chancellor who has significant authority over campus academic and planning affairs. The Chancellor, in turn, is nominated by and is responsible to the Regents of the University of California and the UC President:

After the Chancellor, the second most senior official is the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.[91] He serves as the university's chief academic and operating officer. Every school on campus reports to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost through a Dean, and all other academic and administrative units report to his office through a Vice Chancellor or chief administrator. A partial list of these units includes Campus Recreation, Intercollegiate Athletics, Planning and Budget, Student Affairs, UC Irvine Libraries, UC Irvine Medical Center, and University Advancement. The Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost also governs the faculty senate.


Academic unitsEdit

Natural Sciences II, School of Biological Sciences
Biological Sciences III, School of Biological Sciences
UC Irvine's Medical Center and Education Building.
The School of Social Sciences from Aldrich Park
The Engineering Tower, located in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering, is the tallest building on campus.

UC Irvine's academic units are referred to as Schools. As of the 2016–2017 school year, there are thirteen Schools, one Program in Public Health, one Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and various interdisciplinary programs.[92] The College of Health Sciences was established in 2004,[93] but no longer exists as a separate academic unit.[94] On November 16, 2006, the UC Regents approved the establishment of the School of Law.[95] The School of Education was established by the Regents of the University of California in 2012.[96] In 2016, the university announced that it had received a $40 million donation from Bill Gross' philanthropic foundation to turn its nursing science program into the Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing. The University of California Regents formally approved the establishment of the nursing school in January 2017.[97][98] Supplementary education programs offer accelerated or community education in the form of Summer Session and UC Irvine Extension.[99]

The academic units consist of:[100]

Health careEdit

School of Medicine constitute the professional schools of health science. UC Irvine Medical Center is ranked among the nation's top 50 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for the 12th consecutive year.[101] The School of Medicine features 19 clinical and 6 basic science departments[102] with 560 full-time and 1,300 volunteer faculty members involved in teaching, patient care and advancing medical knowledge through scholarly medical and basic science research.

Research organizationsEdit

UCI hosts many research organizations.[103] These organizations are either chaired by or composed of UCI faculty, frequently draw upon undergraduates and graduates for research assistance, and produce innovations, patents, and scholarly works. Some are housed in a school or department office; others are housed in their own facilities. These are a few of the research organizations at UCI:

  • Beckman Laser Institute
  • California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2)
  • Center for Complex Biological Systems
  • Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Center for Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease (RCE)[104]
  • Center for Unconventional Security Affairs
  • Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Institute of Transportation Studies
  • National Fuel Cell Research Center
  • The Fleischman Lab
  • Reeve-Irvine Research Center
  • Center for the Study of Democracy
  • Center for Health Policy Research
  • W. M. Keck Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry
  • Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center
  • Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics (IGB)
  • Center for Machine Learning and Data Mining (CML)
  • University of California Transportation Center (UCTC)[105]

Rankings and distinctionsEdit


Among universities under 50 years of age Times Higher Education ranked UCI 4th in the world and 1st in the US for 2012, 5th in the world and 1st in the US for 2013, 7th in the world and 1st in the US in 2014, and 7th in the world and 1st in the US in 2015.[116] 2015 was the final year UCI was eligible for this ranking.


Money magazine ranked UC Irvine 3rd in the country out of the nearly 2400 schools it evaluated for its 2018-2019 Best Colleges ranking.[117] For 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked UC Irvine 33rd among national universities and 7th among public universities in the U.S.[118]

In 2018, Forbes ranked UCI 4th out of the 300 Best Value Colleges, based on Return on Investment. Others in the top 10 included Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Amherst, UC Berkeley and UCLA.[119]

In 2014 Washington Monthly ranked UCI 7th out of the top 100 Affordable Elite colleges and universities.[120]

In 2015 Kiplinger ranked UCI 30th out of the top 100 best-value public colleges and universities in the nation, and 4th in California.[121]

In 2015, Sierra Magazine ranked UCI 1st in its "Coolest Schools" in America list for campus sustainability and climate change efforts.[122]

In 2017, Money ranked UCI the best college in the country if you love the beach.[123]

According to The Daily Beast UCI ranked 16th among "The 100 Happiest Colleges in 2010."[124] In 2013 CBS MoneyWatch listed UCI as the 11th happiest public university, based on the greatest percentage of freshmen who remain for their sophomore year.[125]

In addition, many of UCI's graduate programs consistently receive top-50 rankings from U.S. News & World Report, earning distinction in literary criticism and theory (1), criminology (3), organic chemistry (10), English (17), chemistry (20), sociology (23), computer science (30), physics (28), psychology (36), law (21), education (24), biological sciences (33), earth sciences (41), history (34), engineering (35), business part-time MBA (32), political science (45), mathematics (39), medicine-research (46), and economics (47).[118]

Learned societies affiliationsEdit

UCI faculty are affiliated with the following learned societies.


UC Irvine is categorized by U.S. News & World Report as "more selective" for college admissions in the United States.[132] It was the third-most selective University of California campus for the freshman class entering in the fall of 2018, as measured by the ratio of admitted students to applicants (behind UC Berkeley and UCLA).[133] UC Irvine received 94,866 applications for admission to the fall 2018 incoming freshman class and 27,272 were admitted. UC Irvine's acceptance rate is 28.7%. Fall 2018 enrolled freshmen had an average high school GPA of 4.10, while the middle 50% range of SAT scores were 600-740 for math, and 590-680 for reading and writing.[134] The incoming 2018 freshmen were predominantly from Los Angeles County, followed by Orange County, the Bay Area counties, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and San Diego County.[135]

The choice to offer admission is based on the University of California's comprehensive review program. It considers a candidate's personal situation, community involvement, extracurricular activities, and academic potential in addition to the traditional high school academic record, personal statement, and entrance examination scores.[136] While residency is not a factor in admission, it is a factor in tuition expenses, with out-of-state residents spending more annually than California residents. State law prohibits UC Irvine from practicing affirmative action in its admissions process.

Freshman admissions[137]
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Applicants 44,123 45,742 49,287 56,508 60,690 66,505 71,768 77,810 85,102 95,065
Admits 19,484 20,678 23,391 23,956 24,931 24,890 27,764 31,631 31,063 27,339
Enrollment 4,030 4,411 5,115 5,077 5,460 5,435 5,756 6,552 6,545 5,794
Admitted % 44.2 45.2 47.5 42.4 41.1 37.4 38.7 40.7 36.5 28.8
Enrolled % 20.7 21.3 21.9 21.2 21.9 21.8 20.7 20.7 21.1 21.2

Transfer admissions[137]
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Applicants 10,554 13,871 15,974 15,415 15,552 16,044 17,014 19,841 19,557 21,470
Admits 6,409 6,748 6,553 6,579 7,178 7,264 7,532 9,348 10,309 8,924
Enrollment 1,728 1,862 1,727 1,704 1,998 2,024 1,955 2,465 2,970 2,654
Admitted % 60.7 48.6 41.0 42.7 46.2 45.3 44.3 47.1 52.7 41.6
Enrolled % 27.0 27.6 26.4 25.9 27.8 27.9 26.0 26.4 28.8 29.7

Student lifeEdit

Enrollment by race[138]
Race Undergraduate Graduate
American Indian / Alaskan Native 24 10
Asian / Asian American 10,555 897
Black, non-Hispanic 613 143
Hispanic 7,709 615
Pacific Islander 88 4
White, non-Hispanic 3,961 1,690
Unknown / decline to state 342 291
International student 5,050 1,824
Two or more ethnicities 1,224 180

Fraternities and sororitiesEdit

The first fraternities and sororities at UCI began in 1973 with three sororities (Delta Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, and Gamma Phi Beta) and three fraternities (Beta Theta Pi, Sigma Chi, and Phi Delta Theta).[139] Major events and programs in the Greek Community include Songfest, All Greek Conference, Greek Week, BANG (Being a New Greek), and risk management programs (topics vary).[140]

Clubs and organizationsEdit

With over 650 student clubs and organizations on campus, students can readily find friends who share their interests, whether academic, multicultural, political, religious, service, social, or athletic. Campus activities throughout the year include cultural nights, arts performances, and live music at Anteater Plaz. Special events such as Summerlands, Wayzgoose, Shocktoberfest, Soulstice, and Earth Day are held yearly.[141] ASUCI, the university's undergraduate student government, traditionally organizes a world record attempt by the university at the beginning of each academic year. UCI has won Guinness World Records for the largest game of capture the flag six times, with the most recent one in September 2015. In addition, the university has broken the record for the largest game of dodgeball three years straight.[142][143] They have also won records for largest water pistol fight and largest pillow fight.[144]

Residential accommodationsEdit

Residence Halls at the Middle Earth undergraduate housing complex (for freshmen) are named after places and characters from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings book series.

UC Irvine has a number of residential options for students interested in living on campus. Part of UCI's long-range development plan involves expanding on-campus housing to accommodate 50% of all UCI students.[145]

The on-campus housing communities for undergraduates are: Mesa Court, Middle Earth, Arroyo Vista, Campus Village, Vista del Campo, Vista del Campo Norte, Camino del Sol, and Puerta del Sol. Graduate students also have access to the on-campus housing communities: Palo Verde and Verano Place.

UCI's two freshman dormitory communities are Mesa Court and Middle Earth. Mesa Court was the first housing community at UCI, and features a volleyball court, two basketball courts, a community center, a recreational center, and the Mesa Academic Center (MAC). Middle Earth comprises 24 residence halls, two dining facilities (Brandywine and Pippin Commons), a student center, and several resource centers. The name of each building in Middle Earth is named after a character or a place from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Middle Earth was built in three phases. The first phase was built in 1974 and it includes seven halls: Hobbiton, Isengard, Lorien, Mirkwood, Misty Mountain, Rivendell, and the Shire, along with a separate Head Resident's manufactured home called "Bag End". The second phase was built in 1989 with thirteen more halls: Balin, Harrowdale, Whispering Wood, Woodhall, Calmindon, Grey Havens, Aldor, Rohan, Gondolin, Snowbourn, Elrond, Shadowfax, and Quenya. The third phase was built in 2000 with four halls: Crickhollow, Evenstar, Oakenshield, and Valimar. Each hall houses about fifty to eighty students, although Quenya was built with sixty single suite rooms which mainly house graduate students.

There are 42 houses located in Arroyo Vista, of which nine are sorority houses and five are fraternity houses. The sorority houses located in Arroyo Vista are Alpha Phi, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Pi Beta Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Sigma Kappa, and Kappa Alpha Theta. The fraternity houses located in Arroyo Vista are Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Phi Gamma Delta,and Kappa Sigma. Arroyo Vista also features many themed houses based on academic or social interests. In the fall of 2012, Arroyo Vista started the "First Year Experience" and now houses first year students within six of its houses. Students living in Arroyo Vista live in complexes that may be called houses, but have dorm-like qualities.

Apartment style on-campus housing at UCI can be found at Vista del Campo, Vista del Campo Norte, Camino del Sol, and Puerta del Sol. VDC has single rooms available for undergraduates, while VDC Norte has both single rooms and double rooms available. Camino del Sol features single rooms, a community center, a fitness center, and a pool. In the fall of 2012, Camino del Sol opened housing to incoming first-year students as an option instead of dorm living. Each housing community is served by ASUCI shuttles that regularly travel to the main campus.

UCI off-campus housing options vary, based on a student's preferred living arrangements and budget. However, a common denominator for off-campus apartment housing in Irvine, as well as nearby Newport Beach, Tustin, and Costa Mesa is the fact that most accommodations are maintained by The Irvine Company.


A prominent UCI sign at Crawford Hall, part of the Crawford Athletic Complex
UC Irvine Anteaters logo

UC Irvine's sports teams are known as the Anteaters and the student body is known as Antourage. They participate in the NCAA's Division I, as members of the Big West Conference[146] and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.[147] UC Irvine fields nationally competitive teams in baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, track and field, volleyball and water polo. The university has won 28 national championships in nine different sports, and fielded 64 individual national champions, 53 Olympians and over 500 All-Americans.

The university's most recent NCAA Division I national championship was won by the men's volleyball team in 2013. UC Irvine men's volleyball won four national championships in 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2013.

UC Irvine won three NCAA Division I men's water polo titles, with championships in 1970, 1982 and 1989.

UC Irvine Anteaters baseball won back-to-back national championships at the NCAA College Division College World Series and the NCAA Division II College World Series in 1973 and 1974. Anteater baseball moved to the NCAA Division I level. The 2007 baseball team finished 3rd at the College World Series, and in 2009 the baseball team earned a No. 1 national ranking in NCAA Division I polls from Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball for the first time, as well as a national seed and the right to host an NCAA Regional. The 2014 baseball team returned to the College World Series and finished 5th.

In 2015, for the first time, the UC Irvine Anteaters men's basketball team appeared in the Division I tournament. It was narrowly defeated in a first-round tournament game by Louisville.

Anteater as mascotEdit

The anteater was chosen in 1965 when students were allowed to submit mascot candidates, which would be voted on in a campus election. Three undergraduates named Pat Glasgow, Bob Ernst, and Schuyler Hadley Basset III were credited with choosing the anteater and designing a cartoon representation, having been disappointed with other candidates such as a roadrunner, unicorn, seahawk and golden bison.[148]

While often attributed to the Johnny Hart comic strip B.C., the original anteater design was based on the Playboy bunny.[149] In November 1965, the UCI students officially voted on the anteater. In a special follow-up election, students opted for a mascot based on the B.C. anteater over the Playboy version.

A hand signal called "Rip'em 'Eaters" was created by Blake Sasaki and Dennis Wisco in 2001. When attacked, an anteater sits in a tripodal position with its hind feet and tail and tears and "rips" at its predator. The hand signal is done by touching the tips of the two middle fingers with the thumb, and sliding the thumb back, making the pinky and index finger the ears and the fingers in the middle the snout of the anteater.

In August 2007, a small stuffed anteater accompanied astronaut Tracy Caldwell on Space Shuttle Endeavour mission STS-118.[150]

Following the 2015 men's basketball team's inaugural appearance in the NCAA Division I tournament, Mashable named Peter the Anteater the winner of its "Mascot Madness" tournament.[151] The mascot also appeared on an episode of Conan.[152]


As of 2018, UCI has more than 188,000 alumni.[153] These people include athletes (Steve Scott, Scott Brooks, Greg Louganis and 34 Olympians), Broadway, film, and television actors (Bob Gunton, James LeGros, Jon Lovitz, Brian Thompson, Teal Wicks, Windell Middlebrooks), educators (Erin Gruwell), international concert pianist and arts entrepreneur Kevin Kwan Loucks, astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, and technological innovators (Roy Fielding, Paul Mockapetris, and Patrick J. Hanratty[154]).

Frederick Reines Hall in the School of Physical Sciences, named after one of three UCI faculty members to receive the Nobel prize

Three faculty members have been honored with the Nobel Prize. In 1995, two UCI professors earned the Nobel Prize:[155] Frank Sherwood Rowland won in chemistry and Frederick Reines won in physics. F. Sherwood Rowland helped to discover the harmful effects of CFCs on the ozone layer, while Frederick Reines received the Nobel Prize for his work in discovering the neutrino. In 2004, Irwin Rose, professor at the School of Medicine, was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry, along with faculty from the Technion. Rose received the Nobel Prize for his work on biological proteins.

Jacques Derrida — a philosopher most commonly associated with postmodern and post-structuralism philosophy — taught at the University of California, Irvine from 1986 to shortly before his death in 2004. He was Professor of English and Comparative Literature, French and Italian, and Philosophy. His most notable contributions were Of Grammatology, Writing and Difference, and Margins of Philosophy. He was awarded honorary degrees from Columbia University, the New School of Social Research, and Williams College in the United States; Cambridge and Essex Universities in England; and universities in Belgium, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Italy, and Canada. He was also awarded the Theodor Adorno Prize in 2001.[156]

Gregory Benford is a well known science fiction author who is also a professor of physics at UCI. He has taught both writing and physics at UCI, while at times also serving as a cultural ambassador.[157]

Claude Yarbrough (aka Jonathan Pendragon), class of '76, is one of the most influential magicians of the 20th and 21st centuries.[158]

Ralph J. Cicerone, an earth system science professor and former chancellor of UCI, served as president of the National Academy of Sciences from 2005 to 2016.[159]

Additionally, three faculty members have been named National Medal of Science recipients.[160]

Thomas Keneally was a visiting professor at UCI where he taught the graduate fiction workshop for one quarter in 1985. From 1991 to 1995, he was a visiting professor in the writing program at UCI.[161] He is most famous for his book Schindler's Ark (1982) (later republished as Schindler's List), which won the Booker Prize and is the basis of the film Schindler's List that was directed by Steven Spielberg.

In January 2009, UCI Professor Reg Penner won the Faraday Medal for his research with nanowires.[162]

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